In Memoriam: Light Two Candles

Henry Howard a fearless feminist, rockstar reproductive rights advocate and a dear friend shared his poem Light Two Candles at our April 2019 #MeToo event from his most recent book. He offered his book for sale, and in true Henry fashion, he donated the proceeds to our NOW chapter.

We are forever thankful, and we’ll miss you.


Light Two Candles

As Hannukah sends forth its light
To roll back the darkness in our lives,
Light two candles to drive away the shadows
In men’s and women’s lives.

Light one candle for the courage of women,
Who have lit their own way forward to the future.
Light one candle for the men in their lives
Who have shared the long and winding road,
Not leading the way, but walking as partners side by side.

Light one candle for every woman,
In the silence of sexual harassment or abuse,
Who is silent no more,
And whose steadfast voice
Shakes her chains of bondage loose.

Light one candle for every man
Who refuses to hide in an ivory tower,
And use gender or position
To make women cower.

Light one candle for every woman
Who speaks truth to power,
To call forth the power of Sisterhood.
And light one candle for every man
Who gives up his false power
To free both sexes—if he only would.

Light two candles side by side
For the bravest of both sexes who walk together,
Talk together, understand together,
And with one voice, as women and men,
Shout down the darkness with two little words:
NEVER AGAIN!

~ Henry Howard

NCJW|LA with Justice Organizations Lead Rally to Protect Reproduction Rights

The constant call of 2017 has been rally, take action. Michelle Obama told us during her last official White House speech, “Don’t be afraid. Be focused. Be empowered.”

On the eve of the inauguration, National Council of Jewish Women Los Angeles (NCJW|LA) and reproductive health and justice organizations will do just that by leading a Rally to Save Roe. They will demonstrate the commitment to uphold the right to abortion established 44 years ago in the historic 1973 Supreme Court Case, Roe vs. Wade.

The event brings together notable speakers and inspiring performances. After the powerful rally, the community of organizations will provide advocacy training to give attendees practical tools to put beliefs into action in their community. Additionally, there will be opportunities and supplies for the public to make signs in preparation for the March for Women in LA on January 21.

Confirmed speakers:

  • State Senator Holly Mitchell
  • LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
  • Juana Rosa Cavero, California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom
  • Councilmember Lindsey Horvath
  • Hector Villagra, ACLU of Southern California
  • Hillary Selvin, National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles
  • Remy Holwick
  • Marcie Smolin (MC)

Join NCJW|LA 25+ co-sponsoring organizations as they Rally to Save Roe, a rally, and training to defend women’s reproductive rights in America. The rally will begin at 5:30 PM and will be on Fairfax Ave. between Clinton St. and Rosewood Ave.

These are some of our confirmed sponsors.

  • National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles (host)
  • ACLU of Southern California
  • Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
  • Black Women for Wellness (BWW)
  • California Coalition for Reproductive Freedom (CCRF)
  • California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ)
  • California NOW
  • California Women’s Law Center (CWLC)
  • City of West Hollywood
  • City of West Hollywood, Women’s Advisory Board
  • Congregation Kol Ami
  • Feminist Majority Foundation
  • Hollywood NOW
  • L.A. for Choice
  • Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl
  • NARAL Pro-Choice California
  • National Health Law Program (NHeLP)
  • Planned Parenthood Los Angeles (PPLA)
  • Planned Parenthood Young Professionals (PPYP)
  • Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC/URJ)
  • Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC)
  • San Gabriel Valley NOW
  • Temple Israel of Hollywood
  • Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
  • Together We Will Los Angeles (TWWLA)
  • Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP)

For more information check out the Facebook event at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1246453398711435/

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Voted Early, and This is What Happened to Me

At the Amelia Earhart Library in North Hollywood the line to vote early snaked around the park behind the library. How long would I wait wondered and almost left? Instead of leaving I joined the longest line I ever joined.

I stared at the array of people – grandmothers, bun-sporting hipsters, mothers with children in tow, women, couples patting tired pit bulls, partners delivering coffee to mates, professionals typing away on Macs, same-sex couples, and even a celebrity wondering when her number would be called — it hit me. Committed voters gathered, and the majority of them were women.

The reasons for early voting varied, but for one day that turned into night, we came together. Many of the women said they were voting now to vote for the next women president. They didn’t want to miss it. Some, particularly older voters, never imagined a day when a woman would run for president.

As we waited in line, good Samaritans handout out water and leftover over Halloween candy. At one point, a sign on a tree indicated that the wait was two hours from that point. Some folks stepped out of line when reaching this point, but overall the rate was low.

Once a voter checked in for the early voting in North Hollywood, the voter waited for her number. All waiting voters had been waiting well over three hours and yet no one seemed angry or upset in any way.

The temperature dropped, but the energy in the crowd did not wane. As the poll workers brought out packets ready for anticipating people, numbers were called – just like a lottery. People yelped and cheered as when they heard their number and finally the delay to cast a ballot.

We waited so long. People struck up conversations with those waiting directly next to them. We were friends by proximity. We talked about our jobs, our family, and all other topics just to pass the time. We understood casting our ballot was important, so the delay was of minor importance.

When my number 3648 was called I too felt I had won. With my ballot in hand, I walk to the voting booth take part in the process and if all falls into place make history.

San Gabriel Valley-Whitter – NOW supports domestic violence programs

Our chapter has just donated $200 to each of the following local domestic violence shelters:
WINGS (YMCA San Gabriel Valley)

Home page
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Women’s and Children’s Crisis Shelter, Whittier
Angels Step Inn, Emergency Shelter, Downey

Su Casa, Long Beach
Good Shepherd Shelter, Los Angeles
 
Supporting shelters for survivors of domestic violence is part of the chapter’s core mission. Every year the Chapter donated 10% of the profits of its yard sale to WINGS, and it has made significant contributions to the Whittier shelter as well. This year we are happy to extend our support to other shelters that work to end domestic violence.
SGV/Whittier- NOW no longer conducts annual yard sales, but still raises funds by collecting and reselling furniture and gently-used clothing in good condition. Contact Jackie Riley or Darby Mangen if you would like to make a donation.

San Gabriel Valley-Whittier Now Stands with Planned Parenthood

San Gabriel-Whittier Valley NOW (SGVN NOW) has just donated again to Planned Parenthood to help it fight the latest round of attacks against it. On September 18, the House of Representatives voted to stop federal funding of Planned Parenthood’s preventive health care services, including breast cancer screening, for the millions of women across the nation who depend on them. Legislatures in five states have actually defunded Planned Parenthood after a video made by the “Center for Medical Progress” purported to show that the organization is selling fetal tissue for profit.

On September 22, the bill failed to get the 60 votes required to advance. The fight continues.

The “Center for Medical Progress,” an anti-choice group, secretly recorded the video and then “heavily edited and ‘significantly distort[ed] and misrepresent[ed] it,” according to Glenn Simpson, a partner at the research firm Fusion GPS, in a report submitted to the leadership in Congress. The mission of the Center for Medical Progress is to take away essential services, such as mammograms and birth control, and to ban abortion entirely.

SGVW NOW is a long-time supporter of Planned Parenthood; we will keep fighting for women’s health care.

Women’s Rights Museum Could Become Newest National Park

Fourteen female senators seek to designate the landmark Sewall-Belmont House.

 

WASHINGTON — Women who fought to earn their right to vote set the stage for a century of enfranchisement advocacy in the United States. The 14 Democratic women in the U.S. Senate introduced a bill on Thursday to designate the nation’s foremost museum of women’s suffrage as a national park.

If the bill passes, it would mean increased funding to pay for park rangers, expanded hours and crucial repairs to the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum in Washington, D.C.

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Protest of Closing of the Domestic Violence Court in West Covina

For Immediate Release
Contact: Darby Mangen (626) 918-0492, cell (626) 893-1275

San Gabriel Valley NOW and the East Los Angeles College Feminist Club will protest Friday against the arbitrary closing down of the Domestic Violence Court in West Covina.

The protest will be at 12:45 p.m. at the Citrus Courthouse, 1427 West Covina Pkwy, West Covina, 91790 along with a Punch and Judy show at 1:15, demonstrating what the decision will do to families.

The Domestic Violence Court, which was housed in both the West Covina and Rio Hondo courthouses, was a one-room courthouse providing all services to families in crisis from one judge, one prosecutor and one public defender. Its function was similar to the more recent drug courts, but for domestic violence offenders.

The court was a model for handling domestic violence and had won awards and much praise from community groups and office-holders because it insured that all court officers involved were highly experienced.

In dismantling the court, Judge Scott Gordon gave “judicial burn-out” as the reason.

Michelle Geil, President of the SGV chapter of NOW, said “Rotating the judges for a period of time, perhaps two years or two months, would keep the Model Court running. This change seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water.”

The court will now disperse domestic violence cases throughout the court load, like any other crime.

The last time the court was threatened, in 1999, Supervisor Michael Antonovich wrote in a resolution, “Domestic violence is a complex social problem that affects each individual in society, either directly or indirectly. These costs are eventually passed on to the taxpayer…”

After the previous closing, the Model DV Court was re-opened in 2000.

For the last 15 years the Model DV Court has ensured experienced judges and attorneys, protection for victims and their children, treatment for abusers, reduction of recidivism and a saving for the state of millions of dollars.

“The lives of the victims are more important than the comfort of the judges,” said Darby Mangen, chapter president emeritus, who has been involved with the Model Court since its inception.